Type 1 Diabetes: Living With the Disease - Treatment Overview
You may also want to know:
- What needs to be done if you want to become
pregnant, such as changing your treatment or getting additional screening
- Where to find a support group or camp for people with
- What immunizations you need. For more information, see
How to deal with a rebellious teen who has diabetes.
How often should I see my doctor?
See your doctor
about every 3 to 6 months for the rest of your life. During these checkups,
your doctor will look at your treatment and adjust it, if needed. Other exams
and tests will be done according to a
recommended schedule. After you have had diabetes for
3 to 5 years, you will start having annual exams and tests to monitor for eye
and kidney damage.
What if my blood sugar level is very high?
aren't taking enough insulin, have a severe infection or other illness, or become
severely dehydrated, your blood sugar level may rise very high. This can cause
diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which is usually treated
in a hospital and often in the intensive care unit (ICU). There you are watched
closely and get frequent blood tests for glucose and
electrolytes. You will get insulin through a vein
(intravenous, or IV) to bring your blood sugar levels down.
also will get fluids through the IV and treatment to correct electrolyte
problems in your body. These electrolyte problems are typically with potassium
and phosphorous. You may have to stay in the hospital for a few days to get
your blood sugar level back into your target range.
What if my blood sugar level is too low?
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) means that the level of sugar (glucose) in your blood has dropped below what your body needs to function normally. When your blood sugar level drops below 70 mg/dL, you most likely will have symptoms such as feeling tired, weak, or shaky. Symptoms of low blood sugar can develop quickly.
If you eat something that contains sugar, these symptoms may only last a short time. But if your blood sugar continues to drop, you could lose consciousness or have a seizure. If you have symptoms of severe low blood sugar, you need medical care immediately.
What To Think About
Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) and
follow-up Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (EDIC) study
showed that keeping blood sugar levels within a
target range helps decrease your chances of
developing complications from diabetes, such as eye, kidney, heart, blood
vessel, and nerve damage. As a result of this study, experts recommend that you
carefully control your blood sugar. This is often referred to as strict or
tight blood sugar control.